Berkeley Today Stories

Jeannie Ferguson, Berkeley College alumna

Berkeley College Graduate's Fashion Career Excels Beyond the Runway

20161010

 

Jeannie Ferguson, Berkeley College alumna

 

Jeannie Ferguson has more than 10 years of experience as a model, having worked with agencies like MSA Models, TRUE Model Management and Bicoastal MGMT. However, Berkeley College’s courses and counseling gave Ms. Ferguson an introduction into the fashion industry, an experience she credits with helping her launch a career that has gone beyond the runway.

A resident of Brooklyn, NY, Ms. Ferguson earned an A.A.S. in Fashion Marketing and Management from Berkeley College in 1995. While her love of fashion inspired her to enroll at Berkeley College, Ms. Ferguson left Berkeley College with a better understanding of the financial aspects that go into a successful fashion career. “My retail and accounting courses definitely helped prepare me for the future,” she said. Her time at Berkeley College also led to internships at retail chains like Footlocker and Today’s Man.

Ms. Ferguson is currently a sales manager at PPI Apparel in New York, selling private label and licensed undergarments to companies. While balancing that role and her modeling career, she has also been teaching runway classes for women in the plus-size modeling industry for the past six years. Titled “Walk This Way,” the annual class teaches models the do’s and don’ts both on and off the runway, as well as help build their self-esteem and confidence. In addition to her public speaking efforts, Ms. Ferguson also hopes to support the plus-size community through BGU Concepts, a plus-size clothing line and online company she started with her sister, Tasha Monique Hill, in 2002.

Berkeley College 85th anniversary success story
Up Close with Jeannie Ferguson

What does success mean to you?

Success to me means achieving your goals. It doesn’t matter how big or small as long as you achieved your goal.

What initially inspired you to enroll in Berkeley College?

My love for fashion inspired me to enroll. Although there were many schools I could have applied to, Berkeley College stuck out the most because the classes are smaller. I felt that I wouldn’t get lost or treated like a number.

How did Berkeley College prepare you for success?

Berkeley prepared me for success through the hands-on classes, internships and counseling. I got a chance to experience a small part of the industry before I actually started my career in fashion. The biggest lesson Berkeley College taught me was how to keep track of financials. Berkeley College provided great business classes, and I’ve applied all the things I learned in my Marketing and Merchandising classes to my career.

In which way(s) do you see yourself being successful in the future?

I see myself being successful in continuing to build BGU Concepts, and hopefully move from online into a brick and mortar store space. I also hope to take my runway coaching and public speaking efforts on the road to continue uplifting young women in the plus-size modeling industry.

What advice would you offer today’s college-bound students?

Stay focused. Your education is the most important.

What was your most memorable moment at Berkeley College?

My most memorable moment is when my classmates and I did a visual display using urban fashions from Karl Kani. My professor loved it and was proud of us because we made our idea come to life from beginning to end.

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